It's been a month now since I've been to a Walmart store; my local store in Citrus Heights is not providing shopping bags for purchases, and that's why I have been going to Target and Safeway. I would be happy to shop at Walmart again, but I do *not* want to be inconvenienced by having to bring in my own bags each time I come to shop.
I'm told from past emails I've received from Wal*Mart that this "experiment" in no bags is supposed to end today, and the company will "evaluate" the results to see if they're going to extend this practice to all stores and make it permanent. My guess is that the results were pre-ordained, and Wal*Mart is going to try to save a few cents per purchase by inconveniencing me and requiring me to carry around shopping bags in my car just in case I want to stop at their store. That's not how a company should treat customers.
I'll post their reply to the above email if I get one.
Update: I sent my email to both the local store and to corporate headquarters and got the same form-letter response as I did last time:
Thank you for your inquiry. Beginning January 2, 2010, Walmart will remove all plastic bags from the front end in three California stores; Folsom, Ukiah and Citrus Heights. The stores will offer a new type of reusable bag; one for $0.15 cents and another for $0.50 cents.
However, purchasing the reusable bags is just one option. Customers can bring in any bag from home to hold their purchases. The test phase will last only 30 days after which time we will evaluate the test results to determine the next steps.
This move has nothing to do with State or Federal legislation but with Walmart_s zero waste commitment. It is about finding new ways to reduce our plastic bag waste and understand our customer's needs and interest in reusable bags.
Walmart has also committed to reduce its global plastic bag waste by one-third by the end of 2013 - this test could help us make progress towards this goal.
Walmart Customer Care
This has nothing to do with waste--since I won't have bags to reuse, I'll have to buy other bags, so there's no net loss in so-called waste. This is either a PR ploy to jump on the "green" bandwagon, or an attempt by Wal*Mart to squeeze a couple extra cents out of each purchase by not putting the purchases in bags, or both. I outlined several problems with this approach in my previous post on this topic.